Betting Insights: TCU's National Championship Odds

Following an impressive showing from the TCU Horned Frogs in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, the program saw preseason expectations reach some of the highest the school had seen in a long time. The jury is still out as to whether the Horned Frogs will be able to live up to those expectations, but metrics don’t seem to be in love with the head coach Jamie Dixon’s squad.

The team does bestow star power, experience, and strong coaching with plenty of tournament success. But how have the odds reacted to TCU’s start? Let’s look at the futures betting market at the BetMGM Sportsbook to gain some insight.

National Championship Movement (Open, Current)

  • TCU +10000 to +5000
  • Maryland +15000 to +8000
  • Creighton +10000 to +2500

National Championship Betting Insights @ BetMGM

  • Percentage of market’s tickets: 0.9%
  • Percentage of market’s handle: 0.6%

Plenty of tickets and handle from the public come from household programs and blue bloods that the public feels they can “trust.” It likely explains why less than one percent of both tickets and handle at BetMGM are on TCU, a team that hasn’t reached a Sweet Sixteen since 1968.

This is undoubtedly one of the program’s best chances at breaking that drought, and Mike Miles is a significant reason why. The junior was slotted as a preseason third-team All-American by CBS Sports after he willed the team to its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1987 a season ago.

Since taking over the program back in 2016, Dixon has implemented his pass-first offense and a team that will crash the glass on the offensive end at will. It’s more of the same this season for the Horned Frogs as they rank 17th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage and 29th in assist percentage among 363 teams.

This team’s experience, individually and as a cohesive unit, will carry them deep in March. In a world of players cutting college short for professional endeavors and constantly entering the portal, returning all five starters and over 75 percent of minutes feels unheard of.

The maturity and resilience of this older team has shown by ripping off ten straight wins following a puzzling home loss to Northwestern State back in November is an example. The Achilles heel for TCU comes beyond the arc. Their inability to knock down threes takes away two aspects of their game.

TCU has problems separating from opponents or shooting their way back into games where they fall behind. They don’t shoot them often, and being one-dimensional come tournament time can often be easily exploitable if the wrong matchup comes along. 

There are some offensive limits, but strong guard play, coaching, and defense will carry you a long way in March Madness. This same roster took an incredibly talented Arizona team to overtime in a tournament classic last season, proving they are capable of beating anyone on any given night.

The ceiling might not be a national championship for this program, but finding other ways to back a deeper tournament run feels like an optimal strategy.